|This article relies on references to primary sources. (June 2012)|
|Broadcast area||Northern England (excluding Cumbria), Central Scotland, Wales|
|Slogan||Real good, feel good radio|
|Audience share||1.8% (whole of UK) (June 2013, RAJAR)|
|Sister stations||The Arrow, Capital, Capital Xtra, Chill, Classic FM, Gold, Heart, Jazz FM, LBC, Real Radio XS, Smooth Radio, Xfm|
Real Radio stations launch
A licence for South Wales was won in October 2000 alongside North and Mid Wales in December 2008 creating Real Radio Wales. Scot FM relaunched as Real Radio Scotland in January 2002 after being acquired from The Wireless Group. GMG Radio owned Variety FM won the South and West Yorkshire licence in March 2002 and Real Radio Yorkshire launched.
Century FM stations in North East England and North West England were acquired from GCap Media in October 2006. These two stations were rebranded as Real Radio North East and Real Radio North West in March 2009.
Global Radio buyout of GMG Radio
On 25 June 2012 it was announced Global Radio (the owner of stations such as Capital and Heart) had bought GMG Radio, however the GMG radio stations would continue to operate separately until a regulatory review into the sale is carried out.
On 11 October 2012, The Secretary of State Maria Miller announced Global Radio's takeover of GMG Radio would not be investigated on the grounds of plurality. The Competition Commission was due to publish its final report on 27 March 2013. On 21 February 2013 it was confirmed the decision whether Global Radio can take over all GMG Radio's assets would be delayed, until 22 May 2013, two months later than planned.
On 21 May 2013 the Competition Commission published their final report into Global Radio's acquisition of GMG Radio. Global must sell radio stations in seven areas of the UK. The stations Global will be required to sell are as follows:
On 14 June 2013 it was reported that Global Radio would appeal against this decision by the Competition Commissions to sell off certain stations.
Merger with Heart
On 6 February 2014, Global Radio announced it would be rebranding all Real Radio stations as Heart and would be selling Real Radio Yorkshire and Real Radio North Wales to Communicorp. Heart's network programming and brand name will be used under contract.
Real Radio broadcasts music and regionally focused chat, news and sport for thirty-something adults. Real Radio is available on FM across Wales, Central Scotland, in England across the North West, North East and South and West Yorkshire, as well as in most major UK regions on DAB digital radio online while Wales is also available on Sky and Freeview.
In addition to the above listed stations, Real Radio also operated a digital-only station, Real Radio (Digital), which broadcast on DAB in several areas where Real did not broadcast on analogue, and also broadcast on Sky. In 2008, Real Digital closed, replaced by the new Jazz FM (UK) in several locations (it was replaced by Rock Radio in the North East and by a relay of Real Radio Wales on Sky).
The five stations in the United Kingdom operated under the Real Radio banner are:
|Broadcast area||FM Frequency||Branding||Slogan||Note(s)|
|Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, Teesside||100–102FM ||Real Radio North East||Real good, feel good radio|
|Central Scotland||100–101FM ||Real Radio Scotland|
|Manchester, Liverpool, Crewe, Preston, Blackpool, Chester||105.4FM ||Real Radio North West|
|Wales||88, 102 and 105-108 FM ||Real Radio Wales||Available on Sky channel 0146|
|Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley||106–108FM ||Real Radio Yorkshire|
The two former Century FM stations in the North East and North West now have half the listeners they once had. Both have seen a decline in Listening Share In TSA % when comparing Q2 period in 2011 and 2012, from 6.30% to 4.8%, and 3.9% to 3.0% respectively. Figures in Scotland have also lowered whilst Wales and Yorkshire remain steady.
On 15 October 2012, it was announced existing Real Radio North West presenters Darren Parks and Debbie Mac would begin networking their respective daytime programmes across the five stations. Weekday breakfast & drivetime and late weekend breakfast shows remain local. The changes came into effect on 5 November 2012.
- GMG Radio wins Yorkshire radio licence Georgina Lipscomb, Broadcast, 18 July 2001
- GMG Radio sale: Look back at group’s history Radio Today, 25 June 2012
- Radio Authority publishes assessment of South and West Yorkshire licence award Ofcom, 23 July 2001
- Guardian buys GCap radio stations Julia Day, The Guardian, 18 October 2006
- GMG Radio purchase Century FM Radio Today, 18 October 2006
- Who are Real Radio? Real Radio North East
- Global Radio seals £50m purchase of GMG Radio Maisie McCabe, Media Week, 25 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- GMG Radio sold to Global for £50m Mark Sweeney, The Guardian, 25 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- No plurality issues for Global GMG merger Radio Today, 11 October 2012
- Date set for Global Radio’s CC results Radio Today, 11 October 2012
- CC delays Global GMG takeover decision Radio Today, 21 February 2013
- Global/GMG final report Competition Commission, 21 May 2013
- Global Radio appeals against order to sell off GMG Radio stations Mark Sweney, The Guardian, 14 June 2013
- Martin, Roy (2014-02-06). "Communicorp buys 8 Global stations". RadioToday. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- Playlist Real Radio North East
- New logos and marketing for Real Radio Radio Today, 26 March 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- Listen on Radio Real Radio North East
- Listen on Radio Real Radio Scotland
- Listen to Radio Real Radio North West
- Listen on Radio Real Radio Wales
- Listen on Radio Real Radio Yorkshire
- Real Radio North East: audience figures Media UK, August 2012
- Real Radio North West: audience figures Media UK, August 2012
- Around the groups and brands in Q2, 2012 Radio Today, 2 August 2012
- Real Radio introduces networked daytimes Radio Today, 15 October 2012
- Real Radio North East
- Real Radio North West
- Real Radio Scotland
- Real Radio Wales
- Real Radio Yorkshire
- Real and Smooth Limited
- Global Radio